Conflict: Elixir of the Muse for Timeless Stories Readers Can’t Put Down – written by Kristen Lamb

Author Kristen Lamb writes about conflict and why it’s important for our stories. Thank you very much Kristen. I’m learning so much reading your blog and I’m convinced I’m not the only one.


Conflict is the core ingredient required for story. It is the magical elixir with the raw power to transform a story we think we’ve heard a million times before into something wholly unique and mesmerizing. FYI, there are no new stories, only new ways of telling the same stories. Just getting that out of the way.

A Thousand Acres is basically King Lear on an Iowa farm, and Avatar is Pocahontas in Space. I could give a zillion more examples but won’t.

In fairness, this makes our job simpler. We really don’t want to create a story no one has ever heard before. Not only because it’s pretty much impossible to do in the first place, but it’s also highly risky even if we managed to pull it off. Why?

Because the story ‘never before told’ cannot possibly resonate emotionally. Humans have no emotional touchpoint for something they’ve never experienced…ever.

Resonance is Critical

Love gone wrong? Betrayal? Messed up family? Righting wrongs of the past? Clearing one’s name from being falsely accused? Rebuilding after a loss? Finally earning approval, love, or acceptance? Impacts of abuse or addiction?

This stuff we get.

 

To read the entire article, please go to:

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/02/24039/

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The Engine of Fiction—Meet the Antagonist – Post by Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb has posted an excellent article about the engine of fiction. I strongly recommend reading it. It’s an excellent guide for new writers.

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One of the major issues with first-time novels is that the young writer fails to understand what a novel really is. All great stories are about one thing and one thing only—PROBLEMS. More specifically? Every good story has one core problem in need of being resolved. Granted, there will be many other problems along the way, but they are the setbacks and are all related to solving the core problem.

The trouble is that many of us got our “author training” in school, which really is no training at all. That purple prose that scored us an A on our college short story won’t get us far in the world of commercial storytelling. Additionally,… – READ MORE

 

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2017/03/the-engine-of-fiction-meet-the-antagonist/#respond

How to Create Legendary Villains

What a fantastic post on how to create legendary villains. This is awesome and will help me so much! Thank you, Kristen Lamb.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

American Horror Story "Freak Show" on FX American Horror Story “Freak Show” on FX

This past Saturday I held my Bullies & Baddies class and a couple of the folks posited a really good question worth talking about. How do we write great villains? One of the reasons I love holding this class is that all stories require a core antagonist (who is responsible for generating the story problem in need of resolution), but there are different types of antagonists. All villains are antagonists but not all antagonists are villains.

But since we went there, what goes into creating a truly terrifying villain?

I watch a ton of movies and television series. I also read around three novels a week. I’m always studying, breaking stories apart so that I can understand them better. I do it for my fiction, but also so I can share what I learn with you guys.

Though the series isn’t for everyone…

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